As part of their ambitious $3.5 trillion budget plan to support families and spur job growth, top Senate Democrats included an immigration reform provision that could potentially offer a pathway to citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants.
The lawmakers hope to pass the massive spending framework through a budget process called reconciliation, which only needs a simple majority in the evenly split Senate. But some observers question whether a citizenship bill could be enacted through a procedure that skirts the possibility of a filibuster in that chamber.
The current plan, supported by the White House, would pay for clean energy projects to fight climate change, as well as “human infrastructure” programs including universal pre-kindergarten, community college grants and an expansion of health care for seniors.
Supporters of including immigration provisions in what is primarily a budget package argue that obtaining legal status is a key that opens opportunities for undocumented people, who are often low-income essential workers.